In Glasgow, world leaders promise to stop deforestation by 2030

For the 26e world climate conference (COP26) which he is hosting in Scotland, Boris Johnson had set four priorities: obtain commitments in the fields of “Coal, cars, money and trees”. On Tuesday 2 November, the British Prime Minister could already be happy to have ticked a box: more than a hundred leaders have made the commitment, by through a “Glasgow declaration”, end deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

These states, which include Russia, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China and Canada, represent more than 85% of the world’s forests. The Brazil of President Jair Bolsonaro, where Amazon deforestation has reached records, is also among the signatories.

Through this short text, these countries promise to facilitate trade practices that do not lead to deforestation, to implement policies encouraging sustainable agriculture or to align financial flows with these international objectives of protecting these ecosystems.

Carbon sink

“We cannot cope with the devastating loss of habitats and species without addressing climate change, and we cannot cope with climate change without protecting our natural environment and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples”, insisted Boris Johnson. All the scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underline that limiting global warming necessarily implies better protection of forests, which constitute one of the planet’s main carbon sinks.

Some 258,000 square kilometers of forests were lost again last year

Already in 2014, the New York Declaration, adopted by some thirty countries, as many companies and several dozen indigenous peoples and civil society organizations, planned to halve the rate of loss of natural forests in the country. world by 2020 and stop their loss by 2030. But since its adoption, deforestation has continued to increase and even accelerate. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), an American think tank, some 258,000 square kilometers of forests, an area larger than the United Kingdom, were lost again last year.

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“Compared to 2014, there are more countries involved and more money on the table”however, observes Ana Yang, executive director of the sustainability program at Chatham House, a UK think tank. In parallel with the signing of the Glasgow Declaration, eleven countries – including France – and the European Union have pledged to put € 10.3 billion on the table by 2025 in favor of the fight against deforestation. To this sum should be added more than six billion euros of private investment.

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In Glasgow, world leaders promise to stop deforestation by 2030

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